Sarah Hall

21 posts.

Introducing Scrapbooks etc. Photo Faves + CONTEST

We’re adding a new photo and idea sharing tool to! Here’s the scoop:

The tool is called “Photo Faves.” To get started, you can submit photos to specified categories in our gallery. We’re launching with the three categories shown above — Holiday Scrapbook Pages, Storage & Organization, and Holiday Cards.

Every Saturday, the tool pulls all entries from the past seven days and puts them into a slideshow. You’ll be notified that your project photo has been entered and given a link to your photo in the slideshow (example below).

THEN, the voting starts! For one week, you’ll be able to send the link to your submission to friends and family or share the link on Facebook, Twitter, etc. Any way to get your project votes! The idea with the most votes by the end of the week will be sent a signed certificate from SBE editors!


Ok, here’s the best part. Starting NOW: We’re giving you the opportunity to win $100 for being among the first to use the tool! Here’s what you need to do:

• Submit photos of your holiday pages, storage solutions, or holiday cards to our gallery by 10:59 p.m. (CT) Saturday, Nov. 13.
• When you receive an email alert about your photo being entered, start voting and promoting your photo! (You should receive an email by Nov. 15.)

The page, card, and storage solution with the most votes by 11:59 p.m. (CT) Sunday, Nov. 21 will win $100! It’s that easy!

Official Contest Rules
Scrapbook the Holidays
Storage & Organization
Handmade Holiday Cards

HEADS UP: Here are a couple troubleshooting points.
• If you submit photos to more than one category, you will only receive ONE notification email. You will be able to visit our Photo Faves page to find links to all photos you submitted. We’ll be back with more on that when the tool launches.
• If you want to submit more than one photo to the same category, upload and submit each photo individually. Do not put them in the same album.

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Maria’s December Daily Album

For the past couple years, I’ve followed Ali Edwards’ December Daily project as she documents the holiday season on her blog, but I’ve never actually made one myself. I’ve always thought it was a neat idea, but frankly, the holidays usually sneak up on me. (Case in point: I started shopping for gifts last year on December 22, and I never did get around to setting up my apartment-size Christmas tree). I can usually manage to muster up enough enthusiasm in time for the celebrations on December 24 and 25, but the idea of Christmas being an entire season has really escaped me the last few years. Shameful, I know.

So, when I heard that SBE staff members were participating in the project, I jumped at the opportunity to shed my Scrooge-y tendencies and join them. Besides, Ali’s philosophy of assembling the “guts” of the album before the season is in full swing is perfect for people like me.


Here are my goals for this project:

  • I’m newly married and a new homeowner, so I’m hoping to document how my husband and I mesh our holiday traditions and create new ones.
  • While I’m hoping this project encourages us to embrace the Christmas spirit, I’m realistic. I know not every day is going to be filled with gingerbread men and roasting chestnuts. I know our daily activities probably won’t change drastically, especially on work-filled weekdays. And I know we probably won’t be making a trip to the mall to sit on Santa’s lap. But I’m really going to try to take notice of and appreciate the subtle signs of the season that often pass us by—such as a holiday card in the mailbox—as well the mundane chores that normally just make us grumpy—such as digging our cars out from piles of snow.


The Covers

I chose a 6x6” album by Fancy Pants Designs that came with six blank chipboard pages (purchased from Archiver’s.) I used iron-on adhesive to cover the album covers with fabric from Clothworks. For a more polished look, I added paper to the inside covers and hot-glued ribbon along the seam to cover the rough edges. To label my album, I stamped the year on a foil-rimmed acetate tag, punched a hole through it, and strung it on ribbon, along with some beads and a jingle bell. I tied the ribbon around the top binder ring, creating a big enough loop that the embellishments would dangle over the edge.


The Setup

With Ali’s 2009 album as inspiration,  I used a variety of materials in an array of sizes for my 25 pages—mini album pages, transparencies, page protectors, envelopes, die cuts—to give the entire album an eclectic look. A few repeating elements, such as tags and circles, and a color palette of lime green, red-orange, tan, dark green, burgundy, icy blue, and teal tie it all together. Each page (front and back) provides room to document one day.


Spots for journaling and numbers on some of the pages give me some loose confines to work within …


…but leaving some pages blank gives me a little flexibility to add those elements later, based on what I choose to document that day.


I used new some papers from new lines, such as Dear Lizzy Christmas by American Crafts


… and Mitten Weather by Cosmo Cricket.


But, I also raided my stash, pulling a random assortment of papers and embellishments from older holiday and non-holiday collections.



I’m not usually a themed paper kind of gal, so I kept an open mind about what would be appropriate for a holiday album. Nothing was out of the running if it fit within my color palette.


…even vintage sheet music…


… and a recycled J.Crew envelope.

I’ve realized the key to success for me is going to be embracing all the early signs of holiday hoopla, rather than ignoring them. I’m excited to share my progress with you in a couple months!

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Deb’s 8×4.5″ December Daily Album


I can’t wait until December 1st! I’ve completed by first December Daily “shell” album and looking forward to recording this year’s holiday memories — not something I have been good at in the past. All of us SBE staffers have completed a December Daily album — the concept created by Ali Edwards. Ali’s 2009 album is featured in our December issue!

The hardest part was figuring out what papers and materials to use. My rule was to only use one or two paper lines. I chose The Girls’ Paperie Tinsel & Twig and sprinkled in Anna Griffin’s Calisto Christmas papers and embellishments. I used the page of numbers from Tinsel & Twig to label pages throughout my book. I alternated between trimming the stickers down to just the number or using the entire square. The chipboard binder is from Maya Road.

Here’s a quick tour of my album pages. I’ll post the flat shots in our gallery soon!

Dec 1-1




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Jennifer’s December Daily Album #1

Simplify. It’s my mantra for the holiday season and every day in between. So when we first started discussing the December Daily album project in the office, I thought “I know I’m not going to be able to keep up with an album for 25 days.” {The concept of the December Daily album is to chronicle the holiday season by creating an “empty” scrapbook before the season starts. You make a page for each day, then when December rolls around, you document your life day-by-day.} Besides, I’m fairly new to scrapbooking, so the thought of creating 25 pages on a deadline was beyond the scope of my imagination. How to simplify? I’ll make a “12 Days of Christmas” album!

And so I began. Problem 1—I’m a serial photo taker who doesn’t print out her pictures often enough. Solution: My book will be filled with pockets and notes for journaling and look complete even if I never add a photo.

Problem 2: I have a not- so-secret obsession with tiny envelopes, pockets, treat bags, and things tucked into other things. Solution: Many of my journaling spots are tucked safely inside other things.

My favorite hidden journaling spot is inside a little matchbook cover I made from glittery polka-dot paper.

Tiny button grommets and a string hold it closed.

Some pages are more basic. I stitched around the outer edges to join papers together and to add the contrasting pockets.  And it all came together so easily, that created Problem 3: THIS PROJECT IS ADDICTIVE!


I started thinking about writing a note to my daughter on each page of this album. I could give it to her at Thanksgiving and she could have it for the first 12 days of December, almost like a personalized Advent calendar with love notes from Mom. Great idea, right? Until you learn that I have three children…that’s 36 days of December…that’s more than the original 25 days I thought I couldn’t do. Simplify? Well maybe not…but it sure is fun. Watch this space for more albums from my coworkers…and yes, two more from me! Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

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Simple Tag December Daily

I have slight perfectionist tendencies when it comes to crafting. And by slight, I mean I sometimes agonize over the perfect placement of an embellishment—give-or-take a centimeter. On top of that? I’m a planner. So designing an album that I’ll have to conform to could have been a whole bunch of stress.

But it wasn’t. That’s what I love about Ali Edwards’ December Daily project. It’s freeing. You create an album base. Then, throughout December—as Tim Gunn would say—you “make it work!” It’s a nice reminder that holiday albums should be about creating memories not crafting madness. Easy as 1, 2, 3.


To make my album even simpler, I chose to use the advent calendar kit from Making Memories. It includes 25 tag envelopes, numbers, ribbon, die cuts, etc. All other accents are taken from the same Noel paper line for easy coordinating. The ultimate plan (there’s that word again…) is to string the envelopes together as garland as I complete them!


The crafting canvas on these tags is small, so a lot of my design revolved around layering and dimension. Some of the tag-fronts are blank to eventually be covered with a photo, though most snapshots will be slipped into the pockets along with journaling. Sometimes the pocket is at the front of the card, sometimes the back. And a few of the tags I didn’t embellish at all, but stuck a couple will-be accents in the pocket for safe keeping. I (honestly!) tried to make these decisions as random as possible. I can’t wait to see how things evolve once December roles around.

You can check out the rest of my album in the SBE gallery.

Tags 1-12

Tags 13-25

Click back throughout the next week for further albums from our clever staffers—and keep your eyes out for posts on our progress!

PS: Any support from fellow perfectionists would be much appreciated! :)

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10% Off Blurb Books

The next time you read a blurb on the back of a book, it could be one you wrote! Check out Blurb — a company enabling authors, artists, crafters, and photographers to easily showcase their talents. You can create photo books galore,  journals, cookbooks, wedding guest books, and more!

And it’s super easy. Create a free account on, then download the free Blurb Booksmart program software. When you open the software you’ll be prompted to upload photos and choose a project type. The program will guide you through choosing a theme, or you can ditch the program wizard and create from scratch.

Once you’ve chosen your base, you simply drag and drop photos into place and choose font sizes and styles. You can change the style of each page using the toolbar at the top of the software window. Take a tour of the program.

Book costs start at $12.95 for 20-40 pages.

Okay, the best part of this blog post? As Scrapbooks etc. readers, you can get 10% off your Blurb creation. Use coupon code SCRAPBOOKSETCBLURB at check out. The offer is good until September 10, 2010.

For inspiration, here are two spreads from a wedding photo book titled “Carrie & Josh.”



Happy blurbing! :)

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Sarah’s CHA Favorites

I’ve finally recovered from my first CHA! After scouring tons of boths and new product (it’s so good I couldn’t buy anything there!), I’ve created a list of my faves.


I immediately fell in love with the Making Memories Christmas line — Noel. This banner/advent calendar was on my mind the entire show. It’s such cute, crafty decor. And all the pieces come in a kit for easy creating. The Christmas lines this year have a more traditional feel, which I’m definitely on board with after the whimsical designs last year. It’s nice to switch things up!


Amidst the Christmas greens/reds and Halloween oranges/blacks, the Socialite line from Bella Blvd. really caught my attention. (This card showcases about every paper they have in the line!) It’s best described as a party line and would be great for birthdays, New Year’s Eve, wedding showers, etc. My best friend is getting married next year and I can see using this for fun bachelorette party invites!


Savor, a line from My Little Yellow Bicycle, has me all ready for Thanksgiving. You’ll want to check this out if you plan on making a recipe book for a Christmas gift (or for yourself!).

Last but not least, the MyStik from Scrapbook Adhesives! There are so many customizable options on this easy-to-use tape runner. See the images in the handles above? You can open up the sides and insert your own design or photos! At a crop, you’ll be able to show off your personal style, and you’ll never get confused about which tape runner belongs to you. (You can download a template for the inserts online.) The handles rotate into three different positions to maximize your holding comfort. When the tape runs out, you can 1) recycle the use cartridge and 2) buy a refill cartridge so you don’t have to get a whole new runner. Plus, the refill cartridges (permanent, vellum, squares, and repositionable dots) will fit in any original runner you purchase!

You can get more information and see examples of customized MyStiks in the October 2010 issue of Scrapbooks etc., on newsstands October 17.

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Get Foxy

(Fabric pushpins by The Dove Tree on Etsy.)

Woodland creatures have been in for a while now–mostly owls, owls, and more owls! But I’ve seen foxes everywhere lately. Are they the new woodland animal trend of 2010? I kind of hope so! They’re just so cute. Here are some of my latest crafty fox finds.

1. Fox Art Necklace by pamelamichelle on Etsy

2. Moleskin Fox Journal by PixiesandBears on Etsy

3. 3-D Woodland Animal Stickers by Sandylion

4. Red Fox Longbottom Scarf by bobbin4apples on Etsy

5. Basic Shapes Dies, Fox by QuicKutz

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Free Printable Journaling Cards

In our August 2010 issue (on newsstands June 22), we debuted a scrap-as-you-go travel album by Sande Krieger. The album makes recording your trip easy with printable travel-theme journaling cards. We’re offering downloads of the cards for free. Click the link below to get them all! And, if you haven’t already, pick up the latest issue for album instructions.

Download the nine journaling cards here for free!

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Happy Memorial Day!

Memorial Day is the unofficial kick-off to summer. We honor those who served our country, celebrate with cookouts, and maybe even visit the pool for the first time in months! To get in the summer spirit, here are a few pages (with links to see more on our site)!


Design by Melissa Diekema

Check out our summer-theme pages!


Design by Erin Clarkson

See more outdoor activity layouts.


Design by Natasha Roe

Like this piecing? Get this pattern and 12 more free!


Design by Erica Hernandez

Scrap a Memorial Day barbecue with this cute grill piecing.

Plus, browse our collection of picnic-inspired patterns.

Hope you had a wonderful weekend! Happy Memorial Day!

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